Having a career in health care can be a rewarding experience. Although deciding on the type of physician specialty you want to go into is a huge decision that will impact the rest of your life. With most career fields, you can easily decide to change, but as a physician, there’s a lot more work involved. So if you’re trying to figure out the type of practice you want to go into, make sure you evaluate your options, so you don’t have to make a change later in your career.
This choice isn’t easy, especially when you consider it will significantly impact the rest of your life. It will determine your work setting, how many hours you work if you have to travel, and how much you earn. While going through this imperative process, there are a few things you can ask yourself to help make the decision easier.
Below we’ll cover some basic questions you can ask yourself to help determine what specialty is right for you. Some of these questions may include the type of interaction you want to have with your patients, how long you want to stay in school and what kinds of procedures you want to do.
What Do You Enjoy?
No matter what specialty you choose to go into, you can pretty much expect to spend the rest of your life learning. This is why you want to make sure you select an area that you want to know more and more about as technology advances.
Are you interested in how addiction affects an individual’s mind or how to best help someone with an addiction problem? If your answer is yes, then Addiction Psychiatry may be the field for you. One of the primary skills that matter in this medical field is to make sure you do not come across as judgmental. An addiction specialist can not only help the addict but also help the family heal. The point is to take into consideration which area of medicine you’re most passionate about.
What Are You Good At?
If you don’t enjoy being in a fast-paced environment dealing with many life or death situations, working in an emergency room probably wouldn’t be the best choice for you. If you find yourself constantly tripping over your own two feet or dropping small objects, you may want to steer clear of any surgical specialties. On the other hand, maybe you excel when working with children and infants and love making sure they’re healthy. If this sounds like you, then pediatrics may be the field for you.
How Much Patient Contact Do You Want to Have?
Do you want patients you see to be long-term ones you form a relationship with or prefer the technical side of medicine? If you prefer developing a relationship with individuals, you should consider going into fields such as family medicine or pediatrics. If you don’t want to deal with patients, you may want to work in an area such as radiology.
No matter how long you’ve been going to school, you probably already know the type of work environment you prefer and have an idea of what you’re good at and what you would rather not deal with. If you know you don’t have a good eye for detail, you may not want to make ultrasounds. If you have a lot of patience and love listening to others, psychology may be your best choice.
What Type Of Life Do You Want?
This question may make you feel uncomfortable, but it is one you need to answer for yourself. What type of lifestyle do you want? Some people want to work the typical eight-hour days and have weekends off, while others relish the long hours and hectic lifestyle. Sometimes, spending time outside at the park with your family is more appealing than performing high-stress surgeries.
Physicians experience a high rate of burnout, especially those who work in urology and neurology. Some things that cause burnout are a high-stress work environment, character traits, and long hours. This is one of the reasons you have to consider what type of life you want. While specialties such as these pay better, the stress gets to you. Instead, you may find that you would rather own your private practice where you’ll have most afternoons and weekends off.
No matter what type of specialty you want to ensure you are creating your physician CV. Not only does a professional curriculum vitae help you get the position you are looking for, but it also gives you the chance to show off all of the work you have done. When writing your CV, make sure you tailor it to the specific position you are applying for.
No matter what type of specialty you choose, take your time considering and consider what you are looking for. There are many types of positions available for whatever kind of medicine you’re interested in. Once you narrow down your choices, make sure to try out other fields during your clinical rotation and keep your options open.
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